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Nike-Kanye West Yeezy 2 sneakers draw long lines, $90,000 EBay bid

June 08, 2012|By Shan Li
  • The debut of the Nike Air Yeezy 2, designed by Kanye West, is drawing huge crowds.
The debut of the Nike Air Yeezy 2, designed by Kanye West, is drawing huge… (Nike )

Women salivate over Manolo Blahnik heels. Men covet Nike Air Yeezy 2 sneakers.

The limited edition shoe, designed by rapper Kanye West, has already attracted long lines and frenzied online bidding in the thousands of dollars.

That's kind of impressive, considering the shoe goes on sale Saturday at a retail price of $245.

Only about 3,000 to 5,000 pairs will be released, and sneaker collectors -- known as "sneakerheads" -- are anxiously awaiting the chance to add the shoes to their closet or resell them for a plump profit.

On Wednesday, a pair of preordered Yeezy 2 kicks sold for an astronomical $90,300 on EBay. Other auctions are underway, with offers ranging from $1,000 to $3,000.

(As a point of comparison, a pair of sequined Blahnik slingbacks can be had for $400 on the auction site, and nude Jimmy Choo sandals for $375.)

Many shoe stores have learned a thing or two since the 2009 release of the first Yeezy shoe, West's debut collaboration with Nike, which drew huge crowds. Some have adopted a raffle system to discourage rabid fans from camping outside stores overnight, and others are encouraging shoppers to enter similar drawings via Twitter.

Julio Martinez, the manager of Blends shoe store in downtown Los Angeles, said "mass chaos" during the release of the first Yeezy convinced him to implement a raffle. The store will probably only get about a dozen or so pairs of the coveted shoe, he said.

"Last time, people were lined up around the block and sleeping outside," Martinez said. "It's crazy everywhere. We are trying to keep it as calm as possible."

On Thursday night, about 150 shoppers queued up outside the store to put their name in a drawing.

Jason Woods, 26, a security officer at LAX, said he planned to hit about five stores that day to up the odds of adding the Yeezy 2 to his collection of more than 100 sneakers.

"It's about the name, it's about the fashion, it's about Kanye West," Woods said.

His friend, Larry Stenson, 35, nodded in agreement. "Fashion is everything!" he shouted.

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